The Only 4 Foolproof Tips You’ll Ever Need to Fight Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are kind of a given when it comes to having a baby. A bit like a full night’s sleep or clothes sans dribble, smooth even skin on your stomach is another thing to kiss goodbye to as you enter motherhood.
Credit: Mom Junction
And it’s not only new mums that can expect them. Stretch marks are caused when your body is growing at a rate your skin can’t keep up with, so anything from a growth spurt in puberty, putting on a lot weight, or even bulking up a lot of muscle can leave itchy, red scars in the skin.
“It is ultimately a tear in the skin,” explains laser and skincare expert Debbie Thomas. “What you’re seeing is the deeper skin layer below. The initial red colour is the blood vessels. This will usually fade to a silvery colour when the blood vessels contract.”
But there are ways to fight them…
1. Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure
Unfortunately the consensus is that you’re never going to eliminate your chances of getting stretch marks or remove them completely once they’re there.
What you can do is try to keep your skin healthy when your body is going through any major change. Then if you do want to try and correct them, say after a pregnancy, get them when they’re still red in colour, rather than when they’ve turned silver.
“We know it’s best to treat the stretch mark at its very early stages,” says Noella Gabriel, managing director at leading skincare brand Elemis. “Personally I have found lavender essential oil works amazingly. If there is any life in the stretch mark the oil will pick it up and speed up repair.”
2. Future Proof Your Body
“It’s important to stay fit and active during pregnancy and beyond,” explains Sophie Hooper, founder of Secret Saviours, a system designed to help pregnant women reduce their chances of developing stretch marks.
Keeping your fitness levels up is thought to help you skin maintain elasticity, plus it boosts circulation, which keeps the oxygen pumping to your skin. And of course it helps keep off any non-baby-bump weight, and best of all, helps you to cope with labour better, so it’s a winner all round.
3. Follow The Golden Rules Of Skincare
Moisturise, exfoliate, and load up on the antioxidants. “Products with vitamin E are known to help prevent stretch marks,” says Thomas. Once you have stretch marks, Thomas recommends piling on anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera.
“Aloe vera is a super anti-inflammatory, so it is brilliant on new scars and also reducing the itching in scars that are between one and two years old,” she says. She recommends Oxygenetix Pro-healing Moisturiser, which has been formulated especially for use after an aesthetic procedure, so it’s packed with healing ingredients like high grade aloe and grape extract.
“Exfoliating to prevent the build-up of dry skin on the stretch marks will improve its appearance dramatically,” says Gabriel. “And applying a light layer of self-tanning cream over the mark can do an amazing job to camouflage it.”
4. Try A Treatment That Packs A Punch
Topical skincare products can only do so much on a scar. You’ll get better results if you try something more hardcore. Thomas recommends an Enerjet treatment on stretch marks, which works in a similar way to derma rolling by causing controlled micro-injury to the skin to stimulate your natural collagen making process, while also delivering hyaluronic acid into the skin to boost hydration.
“I’ve seen excellent results,” she says. “The treatment minimises the scar so that it appear more consistent with surrounding skin tone and texture.”
By Lucy Douglas